The HESS-II (High Energy Stereoscopic System) telescope in Namibia has detected gamma rays of only 30 Giga electron volts (GeV) from the Vela pulsar, the first pulsar to be detected by HESS and the second to be spotted by ground-based gamma ray telescopes.
The HESS experiment in Namibia is the first Cherenkov system with telescopes of different sizes detecting cosmic TeV gamma rays in sync. A fifth 28-meter telescope, placed at the center of the other four 12-meter telescopes, lowers the energy range under study down to 30 GeV. HESS-II has passed the firing test because scientists have detected a pulsed gamma-ray signal in the energy range of 30 GeV, which they attribute to the Vela pulsar. This paves the way for new observation possibilities of the inner Galaxy.
It isn't just big mirrors that make it possible, HESS included two years of intensive software development. "For the reconstruction of the data from the 28-meter telescope, we performed a highly sensitive analysis based on extremely complex algorithms. For the first time, this allowed us to detect gamma radiation of only 30 GeV from ground level," explains, Mathieu de Naurois, CNRS researcher at the Laboratoire Leprince-Ringuet (CNRS/Ecole Polytechnique) and deputy director of the HESS collaboration. "Since we are able to survey a projected area of 10 hectares in the atmosphere, we have a considerably higher yield of gamma rays than the largest satellite experiments such as Fermi." From some sources, it is possible to spot up to one gamma per second - a record.
Periodic gamma ray pulses of the Vela pulsar in the data obtained by the HESS experiment. One phase is equivalent to 89 milliseconds. © collaboration H.E.S.S.
"The data reveals regular gamma ray pulses at a frequency of 89 milliseconds, coming exactly from the direction of the Vela pulsar. According to our preliminary analyses, everything suggests that these are gamma rays in the energy range of 30 GeV," says Arache Djannati-Ataï from the Laboratoire Astroparticule et cosmologie (CNRS/Université Paris Diderot/CEA/Observatoire de Paris) who, together with his colleagues within the HESS collaboration, tested the reconstruction analysis for the first time.
The Milky Way is full of pulsars and HESS-II seeks to explore its very center. The project is an international collaboration involving more than 180 scientists from 42 research institutes based in 14 countries.
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Greenpeace Says Its GMOs Are Better Than Science's GMOs, Still Hates Golden Rice
- Reduce Prostate Cancer Risk By Sleeping With Lots Of Women - But Not Men
- Homo Floresiensis: Hobbit Species Continues To Provoke Questions About Human Evolution
- Okay With Disgusting Images? You Vote This Way 95 Percent Of The Time
- Everyone Hates Daylight Savings Time - But It Might Improve Public Health
- Supersonic Laser-Propelled Aircraft Get A Step Closer
- This Mid-Term Election Can Have Evolutionary Consequences
- "You, and Greenpeace, are doing just that. GMO is a legal definition, not a science one, and that..."
- "We lack new medicines because the patents expire too quickly and the regulatory burden is too high..."
- "The problem is, American agricultural science cannot be adopted world-wide for the simple reason..."
- "You're quote mining. When it comes to environmental risk, energy emissions from CO2 are back at..."
- "Of course they aren't. These are scientific terms Hank Campbell and you can't just interpret them..."
- Battle of Britain: NGOs and scientists clash over proposal to loosen EU GMO restrictions
- Genetically modified clean energy from bacteria
- Designer babies: You can screen for cystic fibrosis but intelligence is a ways off
- Science as profane: What superstition of 1752 and 2014 share in common
- What’s so “natural” about “natural crop breeding”?
- Worried you have cancer? Take a Google pill!
- Young adults ages 18 to 26 should be viewed as separate subpopulation in policy and research
- University of Tennessee study finds saving lonely species is important for the environment
- Post-operative radiation therapy improves overall survival for patients with resected NSCLC
- Active, biodegradable packaging for oily products
- Medicare costs analysis indicates need to decrease use of biopsies as diagnosis tool for lung cancer